The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a set of guidelines for sexually active people amid the monkeypox outbreak.
The public health agency took the initiative to inform the public how safer sex practices could help prevent the spread of the virus.
“While we work to contain the current outbreak and study the virus, we want you to have information so you can make informed choices when you are in spaces or situations where monkeypox could be spread through close, intimate contact or during sex,” the CDC said.
According to the agency, one should not kiss and have sex of any kind if they or their partner has monkeypox or has recently been sick and have unexplained rash or sores.
Sexual partners are also advised not to share towels, fetish gear, sex toys, and other personal items. In addition, virtual sex with no in-person contact is strongly recommended.
Other safer sex guidelines listed by the CDC included masturbating together while maintaining a distance of at least six feet, touching each other without touching any rash or sores, and having sex with clothes on to reduce skin-to-skin contact.
The CDC released its recommendations amid the World Health Organization’s (WHO) efforts to investigate if monkeypox can be sexually transmitted since the virus has been detected in bodily fluids, including semen, as per New York Post.
Last month, the CDC issued a warning, saying members of the LGBTQ community should take precautionary measures because they are at a higher risk of catching the virus amid the outbreak.
Although monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, the virus can be passed through intimate contact and sexual intercourse. Medical experts also found that the initial cases were common among gay and bisexual men.
At the start of June, only 19 cases were confirmed in the U.S. But based on the latest tracking reports, the number has already grown significantly across the country, according to NBC New York.
People infected with monkeypox develop various signs and symptoms, including fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, muscle aches, and rashes that start on the face or in the mouth.